Pałecznica is located in the north-eastern part of the Małopolskie Voivodeship, 42 kilometers north from Cracow. It covers an area of 47,95 km2 and has a total population of 3 730 inhabitants. Part of the municipality belongs to the mesoregion of Miechów Upland and other part – to the mesoregion of Proszowice Plateau. 93% of municipality’s area is agricultural land with high fertility and agricultural usability. Remaining 6% are woodlands. The Municipality comprises of 14 villages, including Pałecznica village.
Due to the presence of fertile soils the principal economic sector in the municipality is agriculture. In the past agricultural production was focused mostly on tobacco, but after the breakdown of the tobacco market in the 90-ties local farms switched into the vegetables production (focusing mostly on onion, parsley, potato and red beet) and swine breeding. In total there are approx. 751 agricultural farms located in the municipality. Most of them are small farms covering the area of 7-10 ha and with the low level of specialization. Due to using natural methods of growing plants, crops from many Pałecznica’s farms are considered as “ecological crops”.
As ecological farming and clean environment are one of the main assets of Pałecznica, the municipalty undertakes many efforts to protect this state, engaging in several environmental initiatives. In 1998 Pałecznica received a certificate of “Environmentally Friendly Municipality” which was granted for its efforts to protect ground waters and for supporting implementation of individual wastewater treatment installations. The certificate was granted by the Association for the Integration of Central Europe with the European Union.
The municipality is also trying to improve its energy situation. Currently the most important energy carriers used are electricity, coal, natural gas, heating oil and liquid oil. The buildings are heated with local or individual boilers. There is no municipal district heating system.
In order to ensure sustainable energy development of the municipality Pałecznica joined the Association of Municipalities Polish Network “Energie Cités”, which supports implementation of local sustainable energy policies. Within the Green Twinning project the municipality also signed the Covenant of Mayors, thus committing to reduce its CO2 emissions by at least 20% by 2020. It also started the development of a Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP).
Although the SEAP is still under development, the municipality already implemented several projects aiming at increasing energy efficiency and RES use, including:
- Thermal retrofitting of selected public buildings (including School Complex in Ibramowice);
- Installation of RES is several public buildings (within the project entitled “Protection of the atmospheric air through RES use in heating installations of public buildings of the municipality of Pałecznica”);
- Energy education of the citizens.